We’re going on 3 years of having at least one of our kids in peanut-free classrooms, and in that time, we’ve actually had fun and embraced the challenge of finding simple, healthy alternatives to our favorite PB&J sandwich.

If you’re looking for some nut-free lunch solutions, or are just stuck in a peanut butter rut, these ideas are sure to get your juices flowing! They are all finger foods that can be eaten cold…perfect for packing in the school lunch bag!



1. Cucumber sandwiches:  These were a big hit with my girls last year. We would change it up between cucumbers with cream cheese and cucumbers with Miracle Whip.

lunch cucumber sandwich

2. Salami and cream cheese sandwich:  Meat and cheese sandwiches are great alternatives to PB&Js. The trick is finding out which meat and cheese combos your kids love. Right now their favorite is Black Forrest Ham with Smoked Gouda.

lunch salami cream cheese

3. Tomato and mozzarella sandwich

lunch mozzarella tomato


4. Cream cheese and jelly sandwich:  Another favorite around here. My kids would eat these everyday if I let them!lunch cream cheese jelly

5. Turkey and cranberry sandwich:  These are great around the holidays, and the cranberries give the sandwich a delicious tangy sweetness. You can find a simple recipe for homemade cranberry sauce here.

lunch turkey cranberry

Roll-Ups and Wraps


6. Turkey and cream cheese roll-ups: These often show up as appetizers at parties, but they’re just as at home in your kiddo’s lunchbox!

lunch turkey roll-ups

7. Rainbow wraps and chives:
lunch rainbow wrap

8. Healthy hummus wrap: I was so surprised when I learned that my picky eaters like hummus. Use it wrapped with veggies for a lunch that’s healthy and tasty.

lunch hummus wrap

9. Pizza roll-ups: There aren’t very many foods that both of my kids like, but pizza is definitely one of them. Try this variation of the famous kid-pleaser

lunch pizza rollup

10. Sushi sandwich with cream cheese: This is a fun, non-fishy way to pack your bento with sushi

lunch sushi sandwich

11. Lettuce wraps:  Wrap chicken salad or egg salad in lettuce and keep the forks at home!

lunch lettuce wraps

12. Sushi sandwich with tuna: Tuna salad is a lot more fun dressed up as sushi

lunch tuna sandwich sushi


These recipes easily go from the dinner table to the lunch box the next day!

13. Quesadillas: Keep ‘em simple with just cheese, or add chicken and veggies to squeeze a little more nutrition between the layers!

lunch quesadillas

14. Frittatas: Eggs, cheese, and veggies are much more portable as a frittata.

lunch fritatta

15. Veggie pizza: Add your little one’s favorite veggies and I promise, he will love this!

lunch vegetable pizza

16. Baked chicken fingers: Perfect for dinner with the kids, then add the leftovers right to the lunch box for the next morning.

lunch chicken tenders

17. Heart-shaped empanadas: Send your love to school with these tasty leftovers. (Here is a recipe for “make ahead” mini empanadas)

lunch heart empanadas

18. Healthier-Pigs-in-a-Blanket: The “pigs” in this recipe are actually turkey dogs. Add some cheese and they will be an instant favorite.


lunch turkey pigs in blankets

19.  Mini Quiches: Make muffin tin quiches for easy lunch-time eating (recipe for mini-quiches).
lunch quiche


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  • Amy (Super Healthy Kids) August 28, 2012 at 9:52 am edit

    Love your list! Thanks for including us~!

  • Tater August 28, 2012 at 9:57 am edit

    There are some suggestions included without bread. Do you have other suggestions for a child that doesn’t like bread? Yeah, I have a strange kid. I can’t just slap together a sandwich for lunch!

    • chrissy August 28, 2012 at 10:11 am edit

      Hi Tater…Haha, I’m sure we can come up with some ideas for your kid. :) How about using any of the sandwich ideas, but omitting the bread and turning them into a roll-up? For example, with the cucumber sandwich above, slice the cucumber thinly lengthwise, add a layer of cream cheese, and roll it up! Just add some crackers or pretzels on the side and it’s basically the same thing! Thanks for stopping by and good luck!

      • Tater August 28, 2012 at 10:38 am edit

        Ha! Thanks Chrissy! Fun site! The cucumber might work. She likes those. We do a LOT of lettuce wraps and salads, soup and (blech) on occasion the famous Chef Boy Ar Dee. She has never been one to eat bread, pita, crackers, tortilla’s even taco shells! only recently will she eat a taco in a shell instead of scooping out the middle! I guess in the end it’s a good thing not to like so many carbs! On the other hand, I have a kid that will eat most things other kids won’t touch with a 10 foot pole! She eats things like calamari, escargot, mushrooms and sushi!

  • Jasmine August 28, 2012 at 10:27 am edit

    This is awesome!

  • Kelly August 28, 2012 at 11:15 am edit

    My kiddos like sun butter too — totally peanut free!

  • Elizabeth H, blogger for SunButter September 6, 2012 at 5:56 am edit

    Wow! This is so helpful and I can’t wait to share it with others (as a blogger for SunButter, of course, but also as a fellow lunch-packing mom). Thanks for the incredibly helpful ideas and inspiration. Off to use my cookie cutters for today’s lunches!

  • Beja {Howdy-Honey} September 6, 2012 at 3:04 pm edit

    Thanks so much for the variety of ideas here. I recently did a post on how to make a Sunbutter uncrustable. I was having a TON of trouble coming up with other lunch ideas to make a more comprehensive menu.

  • Susan R. December 21, 2012 at 7:58 pm edit

    I have SUCH a hard time finding things my kids will eat and this gives me some great ideas. I will go out on a limb here and say that I probably have the world’s pickiest eaters. If it doesn’t look right, smell right, or taste right…it’s all over. I hope they will like at least a couple of these ideas.

  • heather March 3, 2013 at 4:52 pm edit

    I am a beginner in all things blog but just happened on your site through pinterest, what wonderful ideas for lunches THANK YOU

  • Melissa June 6, 2013 at 1:10 pm edit

    LOVE LOVE these ideas!! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  • Jessie September 2, 2013 at 8:37 pm edit

    These are great ideas! But, why are there walnuts in the last picture beside the mini-quiches?? Makes no sense in a “nut-free lunches” post.

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